A harrowing series of texts between a Melbourne teenager and her fiance have revealed how she was “so scared” of taking MDMA, a drug that would end up killing her.
The messages, tendered as evidence in an inquest in music festival drug deaths this week, show how 18-year-old Diana Nguyen’s partner urged her to not to take “too much” of the drug in the lead-up to Defqon.1 festival in western Sydney.
“Stay safe please n dont take too much please,” he wrote in the messages sent in the days and hours before the 30,000 capacity “hardstyle” dance event on September 15 last year.
“I Think im going to take 1 (MDMA cap) hahah,” Ms Nguyen wrote to her partner, who she met in school when she was 14. “It’s been so long I’m so scared.”
“Hahahah smart choice i hope u dont end up full munted and someone takes a pic of video of u,” her partner wrote.
“Hahahah noooooo probs take it at night maybe,” she responded.
“Hahah. Okay babe jst stay safe n dont lose anything and also stay next too ur friends,” her fiance wrote in the final message tendered as evidence in the inquest.
Further messages, presented to the court by NSW Police, show how Ms Nguyen asked a friends who she could buy MDMA from at 2pm the day of the festival at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Castlereagh.
“I’m taking at least 3 caps what about you???” the friend wrote.
Ms Nguyen wrote: “Yes where u getting caps from. There’s no reception here.”
“I’m getting it from my mate hahahahaha,” the mate responded. “Yeah it’s s**t as (referring to the mobile reception.”
“Do you know anyone selling Sydney caps?” Ms Nguyen asked.
“Not really, I’ll ask around my mates,” the friend answered. “And get back to u.”
“Thanks,” wrote Ms Ngugen.
Just one hour after those texts were sent, Ms Nguyen entered through the same festival gates, past a barricade of blue-clad police officers with sniffer dogs, with two mates.
They all had VIP passes, so their first port of call was the VIP tent — where Ms Nguyen drank three vodka and cranberry juices.
The court heard she arranged to buy three caps from someone she knew and the group bought an additional three from men they didn’t know at the event.
They took one each and danced for an hour, but they soon began to sweat heavily on the scorching September day, so they made a make a beeline back to the VIP tent to hydrate at about 4.30pm.
An hour later, Ms Nguyen told her mates she “felt good”, one mate said the pill was “wearing off” and the other said she was “wasted”.
The pair that said they were feeling OK, decided they would both take another cap from the batch Ms Nguyen had bought separately.
Just 30 minutes after that, the court heard Ms Nguyen was drinking water on the dance floor but appeared “shaky on her feet” — her friends said she was “hot to the touch and was incoherent and sweating”.
Dr Andrew Beshara, who was the junior of two doctors in the festival’s only medical tent, told the court Ms Nguyen was brought in after she’d collapsed at around 7.45pm.
The court heard she was unconscious, twitching and spasming — which made it difficult for the medical team to open her mouth and give her oxygen.
Ice packs were again used to cool her down, as her internal body temperature had soared to 39C — two degrees above normal.
Paramedics arrived at 9.05pm and took her to Nepean Hospital, but she suffered a cardiac arrest on the journey and died just over an hour later.
Counsel Assisting, Peggy Dwyer, told an inquest this week that Ms Nguyen had “loads of friends and loved going to school”.
After that, she landed herself a part-time job at a duty-free shop at a Melbourne airport. She had studied courses in fashion and beauty and loved playing soccer.
“Those who knew her described her as a happy and energetic person who loved going out,” said Ms Dwyer. “But she wasn’t known for taking a lot of drugs.”
She said Ms Nguyen had used MDMA “sporadically”, but likely hadn’t done so for up a year before her death.
“Her family was shocked, but to her friends it wasn’t a surprise, she was adventurous and fun,” said Ms Dwyer.
On the same day as Ms Nguyen’s death, an aspiring teacher from western Sydney — 23-year-old Joseph Pham — was rushed to the same medical tent around 15 minutes before the 18-year-old.
He was also rushed to Nepean Hospital where he died at 9.42pm.
The evidence surrounding the tragic events was given as part of a two-week inquest looking at the drug-related deaths of six young people at NSW music festivals between December 2017 and January 2019.
Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame is examining Ms Nguyen and Mr Pham’s deaths alongside those of Callum Brosnan, Joshua Tam and Alexandra Ross-King — all aged between 18 and 23 — who also died from MDMA toxicity or complications of MDMA use.
Originally published as Haunting texts reveal teen’s fatal plan